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Japan, Project Tohoku, volunteering

Check and check

What a great day. Secret mission complete. Emergency supplies gathered. Enough food at dinner even though it looked like it might be touch and go. All forms present and correct. And I got to leave the building for a change.

Tomorrow I’ll get an intro into the world of mass mailing, peddle my old-lady bike down to the supermarket and load up the basket with rice and then head off to the pound shop (well, 100 yen shop I suppose but it doesn’t have the same ring to it) and get some magnets for my newest fantastic idea. Every day on job sites the nature of the job changes as homeowners see what is being done, like what is being done and realise that we could do a bit more of something else seeing as how we’re not (all) loud-mouthed, clumsy Americans who’ll wreck everything. Consequently, here more than on the other projects I’ve been on, team leaders often have to call back to base and have extra tools sent out to them.

Now I might be fluent in the international language of mime and a semi-professional Pictionary artiste but somethings are beyond me. Watering can, to take an example from today. Tomorrow I shall enlist the help of a trusty Japanese speaker and have magnets made with English and Japanese for various tools. Then, when teams request something I can simply stick the magnet on the whiteboard, next to the team list and the pantomime can stop. The charade is usually made even more embarrassing by the fact that after the whole song and dance it often turns out I knew the word already; as in the case of boots, which in Japanese are buuttsu!


About Jess UK

Fell in love with the crazy, inspiring, all-or-nothing world of disaster response and the wonderfully ridiculous, hard-working people who are drawn to it. Currently working in the Philippines as part of the recovery efforts after Typhoon Washi/Sendong! Want to know more? Check out disasterchasers.wordpress.com.


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